PPR Information for Members and Q&As
The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR)
(Picture from left to right taken at the launch of the PPR Register in June 2015: Amanda Hamilton, Director: Rita Leat, Director: David Holland, former Director (now retired): Espe Fuentes, Patron)
Information for members and Q&As
In 2013 after the publication of the LETR (Legal Education and Training Review) NALP, in partnership with IoP (Institute of Paralegals) started working to develop a single voluntary register to enhance the professionalization of the Paralegal Sector.
During this time and the end of 2014 we have had meetings and made presentations to all the legal regulatory and membership bodies including: The Legal Services Board, The Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Bar Standards Board, ILEX Professional Standards, the Law Society and the Bar Council.
We also had meetings with other important stakeholders within the legal sector such as: The Legal Services Consumer Panel, The Legal Ombudsman, and McKenzie Friends organisations to name just a few.
All these organisations supported the creation of such a register which was launched in December 2014 at The House of Lrds. The Register itself went live on July 6th 2015.
So why have we done this, and more importantly, how does this affect you as members of NALP and IoP?
There are several factors that have driven this initiative forward:
- The Legal Services Act 2007, the primary objective of which was to open up the legal services sector making legal services more accessible and less costly to the consumer.
- Recommendations made in the LETR (Legal Education & Training Review) published in June 2013: 'Recommendation 23: Consideration should be given by the Legal Services Board and representative bodies to the role of voluntary quality schemes in assuring the standards of independent paralegal providers outside the existing scheme of regulation. The Legal Services Board may wish to consider this issue as part of its work on the reservation and regulation of general legal advice.'
- The virtual eradication of Legal Aid.
- The growth of the Paralegal Sector which is unregulated, and which has an estimated 200,000 paralegals working in England & Wales alone.
- The protection of the consumer. With no regulation of the Paralegal sector anyone can describe themselves as a paralegal whether they have experience or qualifications or not. The Register will promote an effective way of discouraging poor or unprofessional services to the consumer
What are the benefits for you?
- The PPR will be the voluntary regulatory mechanism for the unregulated Professional Paralegal Sector ensuring that standards are upheld.
- As a current member of either NALP and IoP you will automatically be eligible to join the PPR
- Once registered and provided you have eligibility (eg the necessary qualifications and/or experience + PII) you can apply for a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC)
- Your details including your specialisation can be available through the PPR website for a prospective employer and or consumer to search and contact you directly if they require your services (similar to the way you can search for a solicitor through the Law Society website)
- Membership of the PPR will improve your ability to gain employment or work and can be your marketing tool.
- Membership of the PPR will enhance your professional status
- There will be various membership tiers on the register dependent on how qualified or how much experience you have
- It is expected that over time, membership of the PPR will prove to be a form of regulation whereby any prospective employer/consumer will not consider using the services of a paralegal who is not registered.
Q & As
Is my name on the PPR?
Yes, your name will be added by default onto the Register unless you informed us specificlly that you object to being on there. If you are a new NALP member, you will have paid the regsitration fee automatically (see below).
Can I withdraw my name from the PPR?
Yes, but you have to notify us by email that you wish to withdraw: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a fee to pay to remain on the PPR?
Yes, but not until you renew your NALP Membership. There is an automatic £22 added to your membership renewal fee. NALP will notify you when we send out renewal reminders.
I am a new member of NALP, will I automatically be on the PPR as well?
Yes, you will have paid the PPR Regsitrration fee as part of your membership fee. For those enrolling for a course, you will also be given automatic regsitration on the PPR.
Do I need to have any contact details on the PPR?
No, not necessarily. If someone wants to check that you are on there, they will be able to find you by name. However, if you wish to be found by prosepctive employers or consumers, then it will be better to have some kind of contact detail like an email and/or mobile. If you wish to add contact details, then please complete a consent form.